Saturday, June 30, 2012

From Primetime to Daytime: The Rebel (1959)

The Rebel leads off Me-TV's Saturday Western block, airing at 11 am (ET), with 2 back-to-back episodes of the 1959-61 series co-created by & starring Nick Adams.

Adams plays Johnny Yuma, a Confederate soldier who now wanders the countryside. It isn't that he's looking for trouble. Like most Western heroes of the period, trouble comes looking for him, instead. The Me-TV prints are lacking the show's theme song, sung by country legend Johnny Cash. Instead, the instrumental theme heard over the closing titles in the following video also play during the open. The reason Cash's version isn't heard is because of copyright issues.

Rebel was one of those rare non-game shows produced by the iconic team of Mark Goodson & Bill Todman (their other Western, Branded, follows Rebel). Let's take a look at this sample:

Adams passed away in 1968, 7 years after the conclusion of Rebel. I am not sure who would have the rights to do a revival in the here and now, but it's easy to assume that Adams was taken from us too soon.

Rating: B+.


magicdog said...

Adams defiitely died to soon.

What little I know if him and "The Rebel" came from an E! special. Apparently Adams was an alcoholic and was trying to beat it - and took prescription pills for that purpose. It's believed he OD'd on them.

Before that he was in a nasty divoce and custody battle with his ex-wife. Ironically, he had won custody of his kids, but ended up giving them back to his ex anyway. Maybe due to his issues or maybe to prove a point?

Westerns were so popular back then it wasn't uncommon to just create one out of thin air, even if it only lasted a season. It seemed if they had a big enough lead, they'd just build up a western themed premise around him.

hobbyfan said...

Rebel lasted two years, could've been more, but maybe as you surmise, Adams' personal issues, coupled with ratings, prevented that. Pity, as this was decent stuff.